Washington, D.C. — Joseph Biden was sworn in Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, rising to the top of a career in public service that began 50 years ago as he faces a deeply divided nation dealing with the effects of a nearly yearlong pandemic.
With his hand on his family Bible, Biden recited the oath of office promising to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States,” and, with the help of God, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Moments before, Kamala D. Harris took her oath of office, making her the country’s first female vice president, and also the first Black American and first with Indian heritage to hold the second highest office in the land. She placed her hand on twin Bibles, one from a family friend and the second belonging to Thurgood Marshall, the first African American justice of the Supreme Court.
President Biden, after taking the oath of office, talked about the importance of unifying the country, saying “my whole soul is in this.”
The President called on Americans to come together to overcome the extraordinary challenges that face the nation – an idea that he often mentioned on the campaign trail
“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity,” Biden said.
“Uniting to fight the foes we face. Anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity we can do great things, important things,” he added.
Biden said America would provide a positive example to the world under his leadership as president.
“I will be the president of all Americans,” he said …. “We must end this uncivil war .. We’ll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”
Acknowledging the challenging times ahead for the country as it continues to battle coronavirus, Biden said, “Folks, this is a time of testing.”
The president added, “We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. Will we rise to the occasion? Will we master this rare and difficult hour?”